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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 27/4/2016 (1443 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
first alarm when the neighbour arrives
he's friendly enough, pleasant actually,
but you can tell something is up
when he hurries his middle-linebacker frame
across the driveway into the yard closes fast
on the step stops to peer as if he sees there
a fullback waiting for a draw play
turns out he has cornered our friendly ground hog
who had borrowed a home under the step
and having shrugged off his shadow ambles the yard
hangs around to watch our daughters come and go
greets me when over the stones i arrive
chunky creature ready to sprawl
splat on his stomach
for ceremony of sun and the love of company
sheer pleasure in a corner of summer
when the mail carrier arrives to find him
splayed on the step
neighbour alarmed that the fat little guy
would tunnel like a sapper under his house
blow it possibly in one monstrous explosion or,
more likely, drag it slowly into the clay that clogs
the bottom of Lake Agassiz
middle-aged line backer instincts intact
scourge now of the fat little guy who wants
only to lie in the sun
Dennis Cooley grew up in Saskatchewan and has lived most of his life in Winnipeg. The "groundhog" poem comes from the bestiary, a collection of animal poems he is working on.
The Winnipeg Free Press will be running poems by Manitoba poets every weekday in April to celebrate National Poetry Month. The NPM in the WFP Project was edited by Ariel Gordon.